Staff’s blog

New Facebook Page

Tue, May 17 2011 by Staff

Today we created our new Citizens in Charge Facebook page. The Citizens in Charge Foundation group is scheduled to be archived by Facebook for reasons only Mark Zuckerberg knows. So, before it disappears please head over to our new page an “like” it. It will be the same as our old page, with regular news updates, pictures, and event information.


Come One. Come All.

Fri, May 13 2011 by Staff

If you’re in Colorado May 26th, head over to the University Club in Denver to check out a great transpartisan discussion on recent attempts by Colorado politicians to destroy the state initiative process. Come find out what’s going on and how you can help stop it.

new flyer

For a PDF of the event flyer click here.




UPDATE: The Durango Herald reports today that SCR 1 failed to make it out of the legislature before the end of the session. So the good news for the time being is that politicians have not succeeded in making it more difficult for Colorado citizens to amend their state constitution. There is still the possibility that supporters of SCR 1 will try and get the measure on the ballot through the petition process, however.

Yesterday on a party-line vote, Democrats in the California Senate passed SB 448, a bill that will force petition circulators to wear huge badges on their chest while collecting signatures. You can read more about that here. The bill now moves on to the state assembly, where hopefully it will be voted down. silenced

From San Jose Mercury News:

If you haven’t already make sure to check out our quick video of Nebraska citizen activist Kent Bernbeck receiving the April 2011 Lilburne Award from Citizens in Charge Foundation President Paul Jacob.

God Save the Queen

Thu, May 5 2011 by Staff

It seems the excitement in the UK never ends. Last week? Royal wedding. This week? Their first national referendum vote in nearly 4 decades. uk

The big referendum will determine what style of elections they use to elect members of parliament. From The Independent:

Forty million people will get the chance to support an historic change to the British voting system today.

MA StatehouseThe Massachusetts General Court [the state legislature] Joint Committee on the Judiciary recommended Monday that two bills aimed at doubling the signature requirements for ballot initiatives ought not to pass. H 1830, sponsored by Rep. Denise Provost, was heard by the committee on March 13; and S 13, sponsored by Sen. Stanley Rosenberg, was heard April 14.

Citizens in Charge President Paul Jacob has a piece up today on Fox & Hounds, a California political blog, discussing recent legislation that would force petition signers to wear a badge while gathering signatures, a First Amendment right:


Seal of FloridaAnti-voter Florida legislators just won’t quit: Senate Bill 2086, which we told you about last week, is moving ever closer to becoming law. Another new version of the bill came out over the weekend containing the same restriction on the right to petition. If passed, Florida voters will have only half as much time to petition their government as they do now.

While Colorado lawmakers wrangle over how weak the token protections for initiated state statutes in SCR11-01 should be, the legislature is moving forward on other inventive plans to keep citizens from having a say in state government. SB11-1072 aims to create even more opportunities for frivolous lawsuits against initiative activists, and was acted on by the Senate Judiciary Committee early this week.

While the state ranked high on our grading scale, Missouri’s strange signature distribution requirement results in only two-thirds of a the state having a petition process, but an amendment pending in the Senate may change that.

(LAKE RIDGE, VA) – Citizens in Charge Foundation, a national voter rights group focused on the ballot initiative and referendum process, presented Nebraska citizen activist Kent Bernbeck with the April 2011 John Lilburne Award for his continued work to make Nebraska’s initiative process more open and accessible to citizens.

“Kent is a citizen who decided he’d seen enough attacks on citizen initiative rights and got involved,” said Citizens in Charge Foundation President Paul Jacob. “He is a strong believer in citizens having a stronger voice in government and has worked tirelessly for many years to defend that right.”


Tue, Apr 26 2011 by Staff

Previously on our newswire we’ve had a couple stories about the anti-circumcision campaign going on in San Francisco. They’ve been collecting signatures and are now claiming to have enough to put it on the ballot:

FLFlorida has one of the youngest petition processes in the nation: citizens gained the right to petition constitutional amendments onto the state ballot in 1967. Florida legislators, like those in most states, don’t like the people having a say at the ballot box, and have worked hard in recent years to make voters’ rights as hard to exercise as possible.

Omaha Press Conference Recap

Fri, Apr 22 2011 by Staff

Yesterday, Citizens in Charge President Paul Jacob held a press conference in Omaha, Nebraska to discuss recent proceedings in Citizens in Charge v. Gale, a case currently before U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Bataillion:

A federal judge today heard opening arguments in a non-jury trial over Nebraska’s residency rule for petition circulators.

The American Civil Liberties Union argues the law makes it difficult if not impossible for independent candidates and large-scale grassroots initiatives to get on the ballot.

Under Nebraska law, petition circulators must live in the state whether they are volunteers or paid professionals.